Recap of Wednesday, June 7
In the Business Session Wednesday morning, the conference:
- celebrated with individuals and churches who have received awards from various agencies and ministries throughout the conference. For the year 2017 Centerville UMC (Early Co.) had the best ratio of professions of faith; Statesboro First; had the largest net gain in membership; and St. Luke (Columbus) had the largest number of professions of faith. St. Luke UMC (Columbus) was recognized for the church with the highest total amount given to missions, and Danville UMC for the church with the highest per capita given to missions.
- were "energized" with a song and dance by the kids from EPIC camp and the College Summer Camp Leadership team.
- heard a "Vital Sign" moment from the Conference Nurture Team. Karen Forrester, chair of the Nurture Team, presented Harry Denman Evangelism Awards to Rev. Matt Hearn, pastor of Gateway Pooler, and Mrs. Teri Nave, CFO at Harvest UMC in Byron. Both Matt and Teri shared how they are spreading the love of Christ in their local churches. Mrs. Allison Lindsey, associate director of Connectional Ministries, then interviewed Mrs. Laura Haygood from Albany First UMC, and they shared how The United Methodist Church responded in the wake of disasters in the Albany area. Lindsey also gave a general update on conference disaster response efforts.
- approved a report from Equitable Compensation given by Rev. Robert Greene, pastor of Vidalia UMC. He explained the need for an arrearage policy for the conference. The committee will bring a proposed policy to the 2018 Annual Conference Session.
- heard a report from the Conference Personnel Committee given by Mr. Richard Shinhoster, lay person from ConneXion UMC in Savannah. He thanked the clergy and lay staff who serve so faithfully and diligently in the Annual Conference.
- heard a report from the Conference Council on Finance and Administration (CFA) given by Mr. Randy Griffin, chair of CFA, and approved a budget of $10,662,813.00.
- heard a report from Bishop Bryan about the work of the Commission on a Way Forward. He asked for input from South Georgia United Methodists (www.sgaumc.org/commissiononawayforward) on the Commission's work. He also announced the dates of our conference's designated week of prayer, January 14-20, 2018.
- heard an update on the new Conference Center from Dr. Hal Brady.
- watched as Dr. Charlene Black presented a check to Mrs. Kim Jenkins, director of Open Door Community House, Inc., for $12,000 from the sale of a book she has written celebrating the ministry of United Methodist Women.
- head a Vital Sign moment celebrating the ministry of the two United Methodist Colleges within the bounds of the South Georgia Conference - Wesleyan College in Macon and Andrew College in Cuthbert. Wesleyan College President Ruth Knox and president-elect Rev. Vivia Fowler shared about the great ministry happening on the campus of Wesleyan College in Macon. "The work we do at Wesleyan is sacred work," Rev. Fowler said. Andrew College President Linda Buchanan also shared about the ministry happening on the campus of Andrew College and the new programs they have begun. "Andrew College needs southwest Georgia and southwest Georgia needs Andrew College," she said.
- heard a final John Wesley moment from Rev. Dave Hanson as he shared that John Wesley believed in preaching. "But he believed in going where the people are," Rev. Hanson said. "He encourages us to go out and be with the people."
- showed appreciation for the hard work and gracious hospitality of the Coastal District and the Local Arrangements Committee as well as the Conference Worship Committee, Conference Secretary and all of those who work to put on Annual Conference.
- accepted an invitation to hold the 2018 Annual Conference session on Jekyll Island June 3-6, 2018.
Service of Sending Forth
Annual Conference 2017 ended with a Service of Sending Forth as Bishop Bryan encouraged each person to be curious together about what God is doing.
"As we go home, we know what we are doing and we know the world desperately needs it," he said.
Following his message, the names of those receiving a new appointment were read.
The 2018 Annual Conference Session will be held on Jekyll Island, GA June 3-6, 2018.